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Largely unknown large buildings


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#1 Holden West

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 10:25 PM

Inspired the today's announcement of the City buying three Traveller's Inn hotels.

I really like 723 Field St. It's a nice old building and I know the new tenants appreciate the architecture. It's a real hidden gem. Despite being between Blanshard and Douglas I bet few have seen the front facade.

That got me thinking. What other significant buildings are out there that are largely hidden from view and that few people have seen.

I recently had a look at the old Orphan's home (Cridge Centre) on Kings Road just off Cook St. It's a grand old Victorian brick building with some great detailing.

The back side of the BCBC building on Seymour Place just off Blanshard is seen by everyone but it's likely only people on government business have seen the front facade of this remarkable modernist building.

What other large unappreciated gems are out there?
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#2 D.L.

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 11:31 PM

The water tower in Rockland isn't accessible from any street - http://maps.google.c...7,0.013915&z=17

It's a neat structure, though now that it is unused it will probably get torn down oneday when it becomes structrually unsound.

This is a great addition to the Esquimalt navy community - http://maps.google.c...359.972169&z=16

#3 phx

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 12:30 AM

That water tower is cool. Is it accessible by foot, or is it on private property?

#4 aastra

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 12:59 AM

I think I've been in front of these buildings in Vic West maybe once in my life:
http://maps.google.c...293.05,,0,-5.14

http://maps.google.c...359.954381&z=15

How about the building behind the Beacon Drive-in? Methinks a lot of people have probably never noticed it.
http://maps.google.c...0,359.9579&z=15

#5 aastra

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 01:11 AM

Wasn't it The Great Scaper who didn't know about this church in Oak Bay?

http://maps.google.c...46.89,,0,-12.51

Methinks some people probably don't know about Bank Street School:

http://maps.google.c...,125.6,,0,-3.46

#6 aastra

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 01:36 AM

Highly visible buildings, but I know a lot of Victorians have never been right out in front of them:

http://www.bing.com/...160&lvl=2&sty=b

#7 G-Man

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 06:48 AM

I have always liked this one in North Park

http://maps.google.c...2,71.9,,0,-1.02

#8 arfenarf

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 07:26 AM

The back side of the BCBC building on Seymour Place just off Blanshard is seen by everyone but it's likely only people on government business have seen the front facade of this remarkable modernist building.


A gentle correction:

The building at 4000 Seymour was built for BC Systems Corporation (BCSC), not BC Buildings Corp (BCBC). BCBC's building is at 3350 Douglas, across from Speedway Motors.

Except now, BCBC and BCSC have, after years of separate change, been merged under a single corporate umbrella into Shared Services BC (SSBC). The fallout from this latest transformation can be noted in the discouraging comments in the "I need an IT Job in Victoria" thread.

...and yes, I like 4000 Seymour (whatever its tenant is named) too. I know folks who helped wire the building when it went up and they are very fond of it, although still a little spooked by its resident ghost, an alleged murder victim from the days when the land was a trailer park.
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#9 D.L.

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 09:26 AM

Wasn't it The Great Scaper who didn't know about this church in Oak Bay?

http://maps.google.c...46.89,,0,-12.51


Yeah, back a few years ago when Scaper was putting together a collection of photos of all of the brick and stone chuches in the city I noticed he didn't have this one in Oak Bay yet. He didn't even know about it! So one night we went out together to photograph it. At first I could't remember quite where it was, I thought it was one block north of Oak Bay Ave., but then we asked someone on the street and they pointed us in the right direction. At the time the building was unused but someone said there were plans for it. Don't know if anything has been done with the building though.

#10 D.L.

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 09:29 AM

That water tower is cool. Is it accessible by foot, or is it on private property?


I think the only way to get to it is to go through someone's property. There is no public trail or road leading to it. If you are really interested, check it out at http://maps.crd.bc.ca/ , you can view property lines with that map application.

#11 Sparky

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 09:47 AM

Yeah, back a few years ago when Scaper was putting together a collection of photos of all of the brick and stone chuches in the city I noticed he didn't have this one in Oak Bay yet. He didn't even know about it! So one night we went out together to photograph it. At first I could't remember quite where it was, I thought it was one block north of Oak Bay Ave., but then we asked someone on the street and they pointed us in the right direction. At the time the building was unused but someone said there were plans for it. Don't know if anything has been done with the building though.


This is the church on Granite Street in Oak Bay. It has been abandoned for a few years now. There has been some remediation work done, and the church is planning on refurbishing it as funds allow. They still use the annex and kitchen behind the church. I used to live in the grey house at the bottom right of the picture.

#12 Baro

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 11:38 AM

Oak Bay United church is currently being renovated and will be looking good inside and out soon.
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#13 victorian fan

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 01:04 PM

I think I've been in front of these buildings in Vic West maybe once in my life:
http://maps.google.c...293.05,,0,-5.14

http://maps.google.c...359.954381&z=15

How about the building behind the Beacon Drive-in? Methinks a lot of people have probably never noticed it.
http://maps.google.c...0,359.9579&z=15


The last one is the rear of Beacon Hill School.

#14 Holden West

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 01:22 PM

That old biscuit factory in Vic West is a favourite of mine. An old-timer once told me kids would go there for broken cookies. I bet it would make a great loft apartment building.

Sorry about the BCBC/BCSC mixup. I should have known that. The building was once the computer nerve centre for the Province IIRC.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#15 Holden West

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 09:57 PM

CFB Esquimalt's Fleet Maintenance Building probably takes the prize for size compared with obscurity.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#16 aastra

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 10:04 PM

The multi-phase Shop Consolidation Project will transform the FMF's 38 maintenance shops into one of the largest enclosed buildings on North America's west coast - second only to the Boeing aircraft plant in Washington.


Now that's a heck of a thing, isn't it?

#17 Holden West

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 10:07 PM

^Holy cow, I didn't even read that. Amazing, considering there's some pretty big buildings on the West Coast, like the Air Canada hangar. Does a shopping mall count as a single building?
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#18 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 10:13 PM

CFB Esquimalt's Fleet Maintenance Building probably takes the prize for size compared with obscurity.


VV members that took the tour all well-versed on that building.

#19 aastra

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 10:18 PM

How about YVR's terminal building? Is that considered a single building?

In any event, regardless of what the lawyers say, I think we can assume that it's going to be quite a large building.

#20 aastra

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 10:28 PM

If I'm understanding the scope of that Shop Consolidation Project, it looks like the merged buildings would have a footprint that's maybe three times the size of the Save-On Foods Centre?

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